TWIN FALLS - Clif Bar will expand to Twin Falls after officials from the Urban Renewal Agency and the Twin Falls City Council unanimously approved a development deal today.
The California-based energy food bar company hopes to break ground on a 300,000-square-foot bakery in April 2015. The production facility will be located in the Jayco Industrial Park, just south of the new Chobani yogurt plant. The deal will allow the city and URA to build millions of dollars of improvements on the 89 acre-property.
Clif Bar hopes to have the bakery operational by the end of 2016. It hopes to invest a total of $160 million in the expansion – $90 million in its first phase.
About 250 full-time jobs are expected to be created initially; if market conditions allow, that number could swell to 450.
Clif Bar will start with two baking lines and, every two years, based on market demand, will consider adding additional lines. Six baking lines would grow the company’s investment to $160 million.
By comparison, Greek yogurt giant Chobani anticipated an initial investment of about $129 million, said Twin Falls City Manager Travis Rothweiler. Chobani’s investment has grown to $413 million, he said.
“We don’t believe this is going to grow proportionally like that,” Rothweiler said. “But I think that size of an investment is substantial in our community.”
Rothweiler said the city – which has been working with Clif Bar in secret since May – had to compete against several other communities for the opportunity. He said Twin Falls and Clif Bar are a good fit.
City officials had to find property with the right zoning and an existing “will serve” letter for wastewater capacity. The Jayco property was that property.
“That means we made a commitment a long time ago to deliver water and sewer services to (the Jayco) property,” Rothweiler said. “… I stress that because there is no hypocrisy, there is no double standard – we are following the same rules.”
Clif Bar’s construction schedule also aligns well with the city’s wastewater facility upgrade schedule, Rothweiler said.
About $25 million will be invested in improving the property from the URA, city, state and other sources, according to a draft version of the development deal. The URA is expected to kick in $18.9 million in improvements through tax increment financing and an initial letter of credit from Clif Bar.
“This is a no-risk deal for any of the local entities,” Rothweiler said.
The state could award $1.8 million; $1 million of that would come from two community development block grants the city has been invited to apply for.
The Idaho Department of Labor could also provide $4 million in work force development training to develop the “skill sets needed from day one,” Rothweiler said.